I may choose to ignore people who comment anonymously. I choose never to be anonymous online myself. I have little tolerance for this behavior.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Ancestor Can Beat Up Your Ancestor

Few Mormons have as illustrious, stellar, pioneer heritage as I do.

I'm a 7th generation Utah Mormon. My great-great-great grandfather, Thomas Bullock was part of the first wagon train into the Salt Lake valley. Bullock, amongst other things, wrote some portions of The History of the Church, served as clerk to Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, The Quorum of the 12, territorial legislatures, chronicled the Mormon pioneer trek west, served as Clerk for the Perpetual Emigration Fund and many other things. His records of the King Follett discourse are considered the most accurate and complete transcribed at the time. He supposedly transcribed the Joseph Smith III blessing later proved to be forged by Mark Hofmann.

I used to claim I was just a 5th generation Mormon. At some point, someone who heard me make this claim will probably call me a liar. In fact, I'm in possession of more facts. I had not been counting myself as a generation. A professional genealogist told me I needed to. That made the 6th. Then, I discovered Thomas Bullock's father was actually the original church member. That made the 7th.

Bullock was also a polygamist. He had three wives. I descend from the first, the one he brought over from England. My sister had a roommate at BYU that descended from his second wife. My polygamous heritage made for great shock effect when discussing religious freedom in my American government courses. Nearly every American government college textbook references Mormon polygamy, Native Americans and peyote and Satanism in its Civil Liberties' chapter.

It is nice having such a famous ancestor. But, what does it have to do with me? Nothing really. I once heard a saying that people that worship their ancestors are like carrots, the best part of them is underground . . .

If Bullock was a great guy, then the honor is his, not mine. There is nothing that I have access to that isn't available to every other member of the Church. The foundation the pioneers laid was laid for all who came after them, not just their descendants. As soon as people join the Church all the blessings that I enjoy come to them as well.

A youth speaker in Sacrament meeting gave a talk on our pioneer heritage. He made the crucial point and put my pioneer heritage into perspective. I wish I could remember his name so I could give him credit. He said that because of what they (Mormon pioneers) did, it allowed us to have the blessings of Church membership for our entire lives and for that I am grateful.

1 comment:

  1. I tell people I am a second generation of Mormon pioneers and I am married to a Mormon pioneer. My father joined the church as a boy. My mother joined the church on her 18th birthday. My husband joined the church a few months after we were married.

    I am grateful that there were Mormon pioneers back when your ancestors went to Utah, but I am even more grateful for the thousands of pioneers who join the church every year. I get being proud of your ancestors, I just think that Utah gets way too much attention during a time when almost all of the living pioneers live all over the world. :-)

    ReplyDelete